CalChamber-Backed Regulatory Reform Bills Pass Assembly Committee

Three California Chamber of Commerce-supported regulatory reform bills passed the Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee this week with bipartisan support.

• AB 2087 (Waldron; R-Escondido) enhances California’s ability to deliver services by improving and updating our state’s information technology systems to take advantage of modern technologies.

• AB 2971 (Calderon; D-Whittier) will save taxpayer dollars, streamline government operations, improve public services, and reduce duplication and waste without compromising public policy goals of regulations by requiring state agencies to review all existing regulations to identify overlap, duplication, inconsistencies or provisions that are out of date, and report the findings to the Legislature.

• AB 2671 (Fong; R-Bakersfield) promotes greater accountability, transparency, improved efficiency and modernization of regulations by requiring agencies to review their regulations, as well as to submit major regulations to the Legislature for review, which paves the way to effective and least burdensome regulations.

Modernizing Agencies

The CalChamber and coalition of business organizations supporting AB 2087 know that smart investment and the adoption of new technology enhances California’s ability to deliver services and improves stakeholders’ ability to participate meaningfully.

Failing to modernize results in state agencies operating or supporting systems that are duplicative, inefficient, not well-integrated, costly to maintain, and vulnerable to cyber-attack.

Streamlining Operations

California has long recognized the benefit of analyzing the impact of a regulation before it is enacted. However, even the best analyses are conducted before knowing what a regulation will do. A healthy regulatory system must track with reality and revise, simplify, strengthen, expand, or eliminate regulations based on what they do in practice.

AB 2971 requires state agencies to review their existing regulations, identify any that are inconsistent, duplicative, overlapping, or outdated, and submit a report to the Legislature and Governor by January 1, 2021. The bill also provides agencies with the flexibility to review their regulations in a manner that is neither cost prohibitive nor overly burdensome.

AB 2971 does not specify how an agency may choose to conduct a review. The bill does not require that agencies take any action to immediately repeal or revise any existing rule. They must simply identify, report, and plan.

Legislative Oversight

AB 2671 increases legislative oversight of agency rulemaking. The bill would allow the Legislature to review major regulations before they are enacted, affording them the opportunity to pass a statute to address the problem instead. This ensures that the agency has exercised its delegated authority properly before a rule takes effect.

AB 2671 also requires that state agencies review and revise existing regulations to address inconsistent, duplicative, overlapping, and outdated provisions. A healthy regulatory system combines both prospective analysis and retrospective review to promote the maintenance, strengthening, or expansion of rules that work well and the streamlining or revision of those that have proven ineffective or unnecessary.

Key Votes

AB 2087 passed Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review on April 25, 7-0:

Ayes: Eggman (D-Stockton), Patterson (R-Fresno), Burke (D-Inglewood), Frazier (D-Discovery Bay), Lackey (R-Palmdale), Medina (D-Riverside), Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton).

• AB 2971 passed, 6-0:

Ayes: Eggman (D-Stockton), Patterson (R-Fresno), Burke (D-Inglewood), Frazier (D-Discovery Bay), Lackey (R-Palmdale), Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton).

No vote recorded: Medina (D-Riverside).

AB 2671 passed, 4-3:

Ayes: Patterson (R-Fresno), Burke (D-Inglewood), Lackey (R-Palmdale), Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton).

Noes: Eggman (D-Stockton), Frazier (D-Discovery Bay), Medina (D-Riverside).

Staff Contact: Marti Fisher